Instant Analysis: Tomas Nido inks deal with Cubs
Vincent Carchietta - USA Today Sports

Instant Analysis: Tomas Nido inks deal with Cubs

by - Senior Writer -

Cubs Set to Release Yan Gomes and Sign Free Agent Nido

By Dustin Riese

One of the biggest ongoing conversations surrounding the Cubs right now is about what to do at the catcher position. Whether it be Yan Gomes or Miguel Amaya, the Cubs catching has been putrid at best this season, and that is putting it lightly. Not only are both players hitting under .200, but neither of them has been able to throw out baserunners consistently on the bases, putting even more pressure on the pitchers.

You knew a change had to be made, and although many thought that change would come via the trade market, it's the free agent market that leads to the change, as the Cubs have agreed to terms with free agent catcher Tomas Nido. Adding Nido meant that someone was going to be losing their spot on this team and that someone is the veteran Gomes, as the Cubs have designated him for an assignment in an effort to create space for Nido.

This is a move that had to be made, but it still stings a little bit, especially when you look at the year Gomes had last season, where he was one of the team's best hitters with runners in scoring position and posted one of his best overall seasons in quite some time. That is the main reason why the Cubs picked up his option for this season, but as we have seen in the past with catchers in their 30s, they can hit that wall in a snap of a finger which appears to have happened to Gomes this season.

About to turn 37, Gomes has been solid for the Cubs the last two years, both behind the plate and in the clubhouse. He is one of those veteran leaders that you can't replace, which is a big reason why they wanted to keep him around this season. Leadership or not, you still need to produce at this level, and Gomes hasn't done that at all in 2024.

For the season, he’s hit a dreadful .154/.179/.242/17 wRC+, with every statistical indicator pointing to those being deserved results. It would be one thing if he weren't hitting and playing good defense, but even that part of his game has lacked, which has made him a liability at all costs and has given Miguel Amaya more of the catching duties. Granted, Amaya hasn't done much better on either side, but he has produced a bit more offensively, and at 24 years old, there is still time for him to figure things out at this level.

With Gomes designated for assignment, the Cubs didn't have many in-house options to choose from. Instead, they went to the free agent market, where they plucked up the former New York Mets backup catcher Nido and immediately added him to their roster. Nido was part of the Mets organization for a while, but with the arrival of Luis Torrens and a healthy Francisco Alvarez, the Mets made a move to cut Nido, who will now be the Cubs' backup.

Not much of a hitter himself, the 30-year old hit just .229/.261/.361/79 wRC+ this year. That may not seem like a massive upgrade, which, in contrast, it isn't, but his average alone would be the best among the Cubs' three catchers, which goes to show how bad it has been. Even if Nido plays in 40% or even half of the Cubs games going forward, his production would be better than what Gomes brought to the table, and he has proven he still has a little bit left defensively, which is also a plus.

Even at his age, Nido still grades out very well defensively, but you can expect a bit of a drop right away as he gets used to this brand-new pitching staff. He does exceptionally well when pitchers use their sliders as he is not only in the upper third of the league in blocked sliders but is in the 90th percentile of stealing strikes for his pitchers off of sliders. His pop time is also in the top third of the league, as he could, at the very least, help neutralize the running game a bit more, which has been an issue this season.

Best of luck to Gomes and whatever comes next in his future, and welcome aboard Nido.

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